STEPANAKERT, YEREVAN—Tensions escalated along the Artsakh-Azerbaijan border as a fourth soldier was killed by Azerbaijani fire in two days and two others were critically injured. The Artsakh Defense Ministry pledged retaliation.
Narek Gasparyan (b. 1997) was killed on Saturday, according to the Artsakh Defense Ministry, which a day earlier reported the deaths of Arayik Matinyan (b. 1997), Vigen Petrosyan (b. 1997), and Vardan Sargsyan (b. 1997).
All four soldiers were awarded the medal of valor posthumously by Artsakh President Bako Sahakian.
Reports indicated that Gasparyan participated in the 2016 April War and was stationed in Talish. He was to be discharged in a.
The Artsakh Defense Ministry extended its condolences to the soldier’s family members, friends, and fellow servicemen and said that Azerbaijan’s latest aggression was inspired by the untargeted statements of international organizations, which do not put the blame of the escalation of violence on Azerbaijan. The Ministry also promised that Artsakh Defense Forces will retaliate.
Another soldier, Myasnik Hovhannisyan was severely wounded on June 16 and underwent successful surgery in Yerevan over the weekend. Hovhannisyan sustained injuries to his eyes as a result of Azerbaijani fire.
Saturday’s attack left two soldiers critically wounded.
Yuri A. Zakaryan was transferred to Muratsan Central Clinical Military Hospital of Armenia’s Defense Ministry on Monday having suffered a gunshot wound to his head.
Gayane Hovhannisyan, the hospital’s chief of the intensive care unit told reporters Monday that Zakaryan was in critical condition.
“His condition is assessed as critical. Having lost consciousness, the soldier is hooked up to a ventilator. He needs no surgical intervention based on the examination results,” the chief of ICU, adding that Zakaryan had already undergone surgery at the Stepanakert Hospital.
Hovhannesyan added that another Artsakh soldier, Armen Vardanyan, was in critical but stable condition at the Muratsan Hospital, adding that his condition has not changed since being admitted on Saturday. Vartanyan, too, suffered a gunshot wound to his head.
‘The provocations on the Line of Contact during the last two days are another manifestation of the policy of Azerbaijan aimed at driving the negotiations into a deadlock. It is an open challenge against the efforts towards establishing peace and stability in the region,’ said Artak Nersissyan, a spokesperson for the Artsakh Foreign Ministry in response to an inquiry from Tert.am.
“Such destructive steps, if not prevented, will lead to dangerous consequences, first of all, for Azerbaijan itself,” added Nersissyan.